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Manassas 287(g) Program Moves Forward

By Greg L | 26 October 2006 | Manassas City, Prince William County | 10 Comments

A presentation by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency at a working session of the Manassas City Council meeting last evening has resulted in a draft plan to have Manassas obtain training for corrections personnel under the 287(g) program. The intent would be to process illegal immigrants who are detained or incarcerated by the city for deportation. This is a big win for Manassas, and Councilman Jackson Miller deserves kudos for working with other members of the council and the city police department to find a workable means of implementing this program in Manassas. If this initial pilot goes well, larger participation by the Manassas City Police Department is virtually assured.

Apparently this draft plan includes participation by the Prince William County Police Department, making this a regional effort. The Prince William County Board of Supervisors requested a staff report on the subject with a due date of the 24th. I haven’t seen the report, but apparently efforts to coordinate the efforts of multiple jurisdictions have been successful to some degree. A regional approach to illegal immigration is sorely needed, and starting with the corrections department is a solid first step.

I would have liked to see Manassas take a more agressive approach, but with the concerns of Chief Skinner (Manassas) and Chief Deane (Prince William County) about exactly how the 287(g) program should be implemented it probably makes sense to take a first step that may be a bit more conservative. After completing this first step, we can then implement the program more fully later on using the experience gained in this first step as a guide. The temptation to use this as campaign fodder by seeking an all-or-nothing approach must have been considerable, but in finding compromise Jackson Miller has again demonstrated a willingness to compromise in order to find solutions that will work and that both sides can get behind.

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  1. Andy H said on 26 Oct 2006 at 4:36 pm:
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    By way of clarification:

    It is my understanding that the Manassas Council will be voting Monday night at the Haydon Town Hall Meeting on a resolution to begin negotiations with ICE immediately. This is a public meeting. If this is important to you, you should probably be there.

    This is seperate and apart from the County and/or ADC. If the County decides to get involved I would like to think that we would join forces to get a regional effort going but this decision has no bearing on that.


  2. Citizenofmanassas said on 26 Oct 2006 at 4:50 pm:
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    I had heard the City Manager and the Police Chief were against the program and even went so far as to write up a bullet point presentation before the Council really even started to look at the program. Too bad the meeting last night was closed to the public, might have heard some good beat downs. I guess Skinner and company realized who really is in charge.

  3. Citizenofmanassas said on 26 Oct 2006 at 4:51 pm:
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    What time does the meeting start?

  4. Andy H said on 26 Oct 2006 at 5:02 pm:
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    You are right, the ICE presentation itself was made in closed session. However, the part of the meeting (last night) where we discussed the various motions was indeed public. We do not vote in secret, the City’s business is conducted in open session: warts and all. The chief has some valid concerns and, while I disagree with at least some of his conclusions, I don’t disagree with much of his analysis. For me, I was glad he presented his thoughts on the matter.

    The meeting starts at 7:00. I haven’t seen the agenda yet (you can find it on the web when it becomes available) but I believe that this will be on that agenda.

  5. Steve Randolph said on 26 Oct 2006 at 6:11 pm:
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    Clarification - City Staff Report
    The Section 287(g) program can only
    be used to deport “if these individuals are identified
    as criminal illegal aliens who pose a significant threat
    to public safety or national security” and is
    “not intended for minor nuisance offences and routine
    traffic violations”. It is NOT a street sweep and
    does not address day labor sites or our huge problem
    with overcrowding.
    City staff concludes “that this limited
    federal authority may be beneficial for all
    jurisdictions if utilized by select A.D.C. jail staff who
    could systematically target criminal alien felons or
    misdemeanants who pose a serious threat and/or
    burden on our system.” Select regional task force
    detectives might also benefit from this authority.
    Vice Mayor Parrish and I supported
    this while Councilmen Miller and Aveni wanted a
    contingent of Manassas City Police to enter the
    program. In my opinion, that would put more stress
    on a stretched department and would require
    signifigant unbudgeted overtime dollars. Councilman
    Harrover moved for us to discuss this again
    on Monday night. (Councilmen Smith had left
    early and was not present).

  6. Steve Randolph said on 26 Oct 2006 at 6:47 pm:
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    Another thought after last night’s meeting -
    If you or I rob a bank, we are convicted and sent to
    prison for twenty years.
    If an illegal alien robs a bank, he would serve a year
    and then be deported to his home country - free and
    clear. Best case for him is a big payday - worst case
    is ending up back with his friends and family.
    The Section 287(g) program looks interesting
    (anything remotely positive on this issue looks good
    to local officials right now), but we still need to be

  7. Greg L said on 26 Oct 2006 at 8:36 pm:
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    I hope we can soon do something more than is being immediately considered very soon, as I don’t see this limited effort having enough impact to relieve the pressure on our education system, health services, public safety and quality of life. If we need to take a baby step first, we better be prepared to take the next step soon.

    If this is going to cover only the jail first, we better review the results within six months or so in order to consider widening participation. I don’t want the council to declare victory on the basis of this first step and fail to follow up.

  8. Citizenofmanassas said on 26 Oct 2006 at 11:51 pm:
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    Well, it is too bad the program does not seem to cover all criminal activity, because even minor traffic ones have an impact on the quality of life. Who wants to drive in a city with a lot of folks that may or may not have a legal driver license?

    One thing I do hope the program does is to get illegals to leave the City on their own. If enough of them leave, that should have a positive impact on spending and taxes here in the City. Even if a few hundred kids drop enrollment in the City schools, that is enough of a reason to support the program and to call it a success, regardless of what the criminal supporters say.

  9. anonymous said on 27 Oct 2006 at 12:01 am:
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    Ever been to General District Court to see how many “no driver’s license” cases there are?

    Reportedly, there are quite a few. I should probably take a day off work to see for myself.

    On that subject, why is it that driving on a suspended license is punished more severely than driving without a license at all? This is based on what I see on the Virginia Court Case system.

    In my view, driving without a license ought to be punished as severely as driving on a suspended license.

  10. Citizenofmanassas said on 27 Oct 2006 at 12:33 am:
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    Yes, I have been in both Prince William and Fairfax Court and have seen enough to know that not all illegals come here only to do work that Americans do not want to do.

    I suppose the difference in penalties is someone was caught committing a driving offense with a license… On second thought that does not make any sense. I have no clue why that might be the case.

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